Natural Help for Parkinson’s & Other Neurological Problems

Natural Help for Parkinson’s & Other Neurological Problems


HS_13by Gale Maleskey, MS, RD


If you are seeing a neurologist for peripheral neuropathy, multiple sclerosis, stroke-related damage, migraine headaches, epilepsy, or a movement disorder such as Parkinson’s disease, you should know that good nutrition and certain nutritional supplements are proven to help these problems.

They can:

  • reduce pain
  • slow the progression of nerve damage
  • help you reduce your drug dosage
  • remove toxins from your body that may be contributing
  • to your health problems

 I have helped a number of people with neurological problems, working with them and their doctors to safely combine their medical care with natural, nutrition-based treatments.

If you have peripheral neuropathy, for instance, consider taking alpha lipoic acid, a nutritional supplement that can work as well as the drug Neurontin–without the side effects. Make sure you’re getting enough vitamin B12, folate and Coenzyme Q10, which can help relieve some forms of neuropathy. And if you’re taking cholesterol-lowering statin drugs, you need to be aware that these drugs greatly increase your risk for developing neuropathy, and can also cause muscle weakness and mood changes. Getting your cholesterol down with a healthy, plant-based diet can help you lower your dosage of statin drugs and reduce your risk for developing these troubling symptoms.

People with MS often do better when they start on an anti-inflammatory diet, getting more omega-3 fats and fewer omega-6 and saturated fats. They also benefit from other nutrients: vitamins D, E and B12, n-acetyl-cysteine, phosphatidylserine, CoQ10 and alpha lipoic acid.

People with Parkinson’s disease often have had exposure to toxic chemicals, such as solvents, herbicides or pesticides, and may benefit from an evaluation to reduce ongoing environmental toxin exposure. They also often improve by following a detoxifying diet and supplements to help their bodies break down and remove brain and nerve-damaging toxins.

People who’ve had a stroke, who have high blood pressure, or who are at risk for having stroke because of clotting problems can reduce their blood pressure with a diet high in potassium, magnesium, calcium, vitamin D, getting more omega-3 fats, and cutting back on sodium and saturated fats. This kind of diet can also help restore normal heartbeat in some people who have heart arrhythmia problems.

People with migraines and epilepsy sometimes find that they are reacting to certain foods or food additives.  A little detective work can help pinpoint these foods, but sometimes people need to get food allergy testing to figure out what is going on. I’ve found people often improve once they stop eating foods, or, especially, food additives like sulfites and MSG–and aspartame−that are making them sick.

Parkinson’s Patients & Care Givers are welcome to enjoy a relaxing day in a peaceful surrounding where they will discover simple, natural ways to improve their balance, reduce tremors, ease muscle tension, increase liver and brain function and much more!

Parkinson’s Retreat

Patients & Care Givers

Saturday, March 18, 2017

9:15 am – 4:30 pm

Lunch and light refreshments will be served

$35, to register call:

Dr. Tom Wachtmann 610-841-3395

Twin Ponds Integrative Health Center

628 Twin Ponds Rd., Breinigsville, PA 18031

Coffee for Parkinson’s?


A Macrobiotic & Oriental Medicine Approach

By Steve Hoog, Macrobiotic Practitioner

Several scientific studies have indicated that a certain degree of coffee drinking may reduce the risk of getting Parkinson’s Disease. It is certainly true of males, but the results are mixed for females.

Male risk:

Studies in Spain, Sweden, and Germany have shown a reduced risk for males with high coffee consumption. In Hawaii a study was done with 8,000 men over a median 27 years that showed a 5 fold reduction risk with more than 4 cups per day compared to non-consumers. Ingestion of caffeine from other non-coffee sources indicated the same thing. A study in 2014 failed to show that, but a global study of many tests indicated an average of about 25-31% reduction. Some of those studies revealed an 80% reduction with over 4 cups daily.

Female risk:

It has been found that if women are taking Hormone Replacement Therapy and drinking coffee, they are actually more susceptible. Both HRT and coffee show positive results individually, but if taken together they are worse. Specifically, if a woman on HRT were drinking more than 5 cups of coffee per day, she was 1½ times more likely to get Parkinson’s than a heavy coffee drinker who did not take HRT. The same woman if drinking less than 5 cups per day would have the same good results as men.

Coffee apparently prevents the loss of dopamine producing nerve cells. The medical field is not yet recommending drinking lots of coffee as a preventative, but they are continuing studies in hopes of isolating specific ingredients for special therapy.

 The Macrobiotic and Oriental Medicine approach:

Since coffee is an extreme food, the Oriental approach to any illness is not to battle it, but to re-establish balance within the body. One balance is a contraction / expansion balance. Some foods have a strong contractive effect such as eggs, salt and red meat. Others have a strong expansive effect such as sugar, drugs, alcohol, ice cream and COFFEE.

Coffee is out of the range of daily food and would be recommended only for occasional or rare use because it can cause:

  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Difficulty in sleeping
  • Jittery nerves
  • Focused thinking which can become ungrounded and unfocused Caffeine interacts with some medications including thyroid medication, the depression drug, Cipro, and heartburn drug, Tagamet
  • It increases blood sugar levels making it harder for those with type 2 diabetes to manage their insulin
  • It may slightly raise blood pressure.
  • It is very acidic and irritating the gastrointestinal tract can also contribute to acid reflux problems. Too much acidity can help cause numerous problems and contributes to immune system depletion.

Grains, beans and vegetables are more central in the Oriental contractive / expansive effect and are the mainstay way of eating.

Michio Kushi, noted Macrobiotic teacher, used to say it was a good food for planning, but not necessarily for manifesting.

The Oriental approach sees Parkinson’s as a problem with highly toxic substances affecting the liver which has a strong control over the neuromuscular system.  The preventative would be to always be aware of toxins in one’s environment and eating organic foods.  But, living near roads that are well traveled, living near farms where there is a lot of spraying, working in a dental office or other places where there is exposure to toxic elements, exposure to new car out-gassing, or exposure to new furniture that is out-gassing are also things to be aware of.  Home well water may be contaminated. Numerous other sources of toxins may be affecting the liver and the muscular system.

Scientific testing for every one of these elements can take time, but the use of Applied Kinesiology, also known as muscle testing, can quickly help identify what toxins are causing the problem.  The next step would be to avoid these toxins in the future − not always an easy task.

Pay regular attention to your liver by:

  • Eating plenty of leafy green vegetables
  • Using blood cleansing herbs like burdock or red clover
  • Including seaweed in your diet that can help attract toxins and eliminate them from the body

Steve’s recommendations:

Coffee’s effects will vary depending on what your present constitution and condition are. It is my contention that Parkinson’s is not a coffee deficiency disease and because it has extreme effects should not be considered as a preventative or as therapy.

Generally eat a plant based diet emphasizing grains, beans and vegetables with a small amount of organic free range animal food or wild and sustainably caught fish, if desired.

Each person’s diet would be slightly different because people may have other conditions that may need to be addressed. Some people have conditions that are too contractive or too expansive and the diet must reflect that to make balance.

In conclusion, I see no reason to look for a “one shot approach” to knocking out Parkinson’s Disease.  Finding some magic bullet such as coffee or some derivative of it may not be right for you. The response, I like, is to maintain a diet that sufficiently balances the body’s systems with some tweaking here or   there, depending on one’s overall condition. I think it is vital to assess the toxins involved and limit or avoid exposure. Changing your way of eating and including movement modalities like Tai Chi, Feldenkrais Method® or Coordination Pattern™ Training can go a long way to maintain a normal functioning lifestyle. There is no reason to use an extreme food or a derivative to avoid or reduce the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease which may cause other problems later.

For your specific health recommendation, call Steve at 610-756-6867

Parkinson’s Disease Retreat for patients and care-givers. Saturday, March 18, 2017, 9:15 am – 4:30 pm

Register early to reserve your space at Twin Ponds Integrative Health Center, 628 Twin Ponds Rd., Breinigsville, PA 18031   For more information about Steve Hoog visit